Scarefest 2017

Second scare event of the year, Alton Towers Scarefest.  I’ve got big hopes for this years event, there’s a new maze and apparently improved versions of old mazes.  Time to catch a little breakfast before we begin (these are my favourite biscuits in the world!)

Spent the day on coasters, surprisingly it was quiet on park and we were almost walking on everything which was great as it meant we could stop and have a long relaxing lunch while we waited for a little rain to pass.

Had a good old stalk of the upcoming SW8, it’s looking awesome! New boards have gone up and it’s interesting that they’ve stepped away from the normal “worlds first” tag lines and gone for world class.  I’m really hoping this means that we will get a solid ride with a great theme and less gimmicks to be going wrong and shutting it down for weeks at a time.

The plus point that Towers has over Thorpe, is they allocate time slots for the mazes and these have worked really well previously, cutting three hours queues down to 30 minutes easily.  The downside to this, is that they are not free with your entrance ticket like Thorpe.  I will never understand why but there it is.  We got there first thing and they’d already sold out of the combi tickets, meaning we had to pay £8 for each individual maze.  Pre book people.

So we made a decision not to go into Terror of the Towers this time.  I’m not paying £8 for a maze that’s about 10 years old and feels it.  It must be great for people who’ve never been before and that’s fine, but for those of us that return every year, it’s showing it’s age.  They teased last year by saying that there was a new route and it had been updated.  All that happened was the same rooms and scare in the same order, but you queued on the opposite side of the towers.  Again not paying £8 for something I’ve done a hundred times over and doesn’t change.

Altonville Mine Tours, the first half remains the same as last year, with you being introduced to the story of the Skin Snatchers.  I somehow ended up at the front of the group, having to wear a hard hat with a light.  That light makes the whole experience more intense as it affects your field of vision so you can only really focus where the light goes, meaning the actors can get right up close before you even notice them.  Let me tell you, it makes you jump!  I don’t believe that it was longer as advertised, they’d just changed the ending slightly, which got slightly spoilt due to catching up with the group in front.  There must be a way to hold groups up a little to allow for scene resetting, especially with these final scenes which are your lasting impression of the entire maze.  Also, why is the guy naked?!

Sub Species up next.  This is my favourite maze of all.  Doesn’t matter how many times I go through, it’s always different it’s always a lot of fun and really scary!  I ended up alone for a lot of the maze, they do a great job of splitting groups up and getting you a little lost.  You get turned around, made to walk in circles and there’s always something lurking around a corner.  There’s a pitch black section where you have to hold a rope to guide you round, we got stuck there for what seemed like ages with a guy who had a little flash light, every time we made progress he was infront of us blocking our way out!  The ending is the typical chainsaw ending, but we either walked in on a technical difficulty or they deliberately tried to confuse us as the guy with the chainsaw put it down and came after us.  We escaped him and made our way to the exit where another chainsaw ran towards us!  We forgot to check out the exit photo on our off the park, but I bet it was hilarious!

We kept the new maze till last.  The Welcoming.  I forgot to be scared in here because it is themed so beautifully that I couldn’t help but be in awe of how amazing it was.  It’s one of the longest mazes I’ve been in and has a great mix of jump scares and story line.  It’s supposed to work like Sanctuary did for The Smiler, in that it’s a bit of a background for the theme of the new ride.  So we are getting a Wickerman style theme for the new ride if this is true.

There’s a Molly Crowe style hooded section, which is quite intense as it feels like you are surrounded by the actors.  They kept touching my arm and hand that was desperately trying to keep a hold of that rope as all I could think was, how will I ever find it again!  If you were there last year they had Molly Crowe, which was hooded all apart from the final scene.

It’s a brilliant day out, and if you’re a Merlin Pass holder it’s affordable.  I get a lot of people who tell me they’d like to go, but the cost of entry and mazes on top completely price them out.  Which is a shame.

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